(You have all been witing for this all month haven't you.)
What you should know about the winged wolf: it can fly (du-uh!), its hide is bulletproof except for a spot under its left wing, and it can breathe fire.
Yes, you read that right.
In the folktale, the wolf first shows up as a threat. There is a triple fork in the road where someone out of sheer humanity set up some signs: To the left, if you go this way you will live but your horse will die. To the right, if you go this way you will die, but your horse will live (whoever would choose that?). In the middle, if you go this way, the winged wolf will kill you.
Guess which road people are choosing. That's right. Makes for a better story.
The catch? The winged wolf is actually quite a smart creature, human speech and all. Once defeated, it becomes the hero's new mount and carries him for the rest of the adventure; it even gives some Dr. House-like grumpy misogynistic advice every once in a while.
Because, who would not want to ride a fire-breathing winged wolf into battle?
That is how we roll in Hungary.
(Go ahead, Google "winged wolf", see what happens.)
By the way, the amazing picture above belongs to my storyteller friend Fekete Gy. Viktor - he designed it himself! The winged wolf is his symbol as a storyteller. Badass, huh?